The heart of Brisbane is its river, which casts a spell of relaxation over its surrounds and provides a perfect backdrop for this vibrant city.
There’s no river city in the world quite like Brisbane. The Queensland capital has perfected the art of embracing a casual, riverside lifestyle. Along every twist and turn of the river’s banks, Brisbanites have built their unique idea of how a true cosmopolitan city should look and feel by cherry-picking only the best of what other metropolises have on offer. This means that all within the central quarters of the city you can explore a maze of quirky hidden laneways filled with boutiques and cafés, relax in urban oases or simply stroll along tropical riverside esplanades and marvel at impressive public artworks.
Brisbane also offers one of the most unusual ways to explore an Australian city – via the water. The speedy CityCat ferries people up and down the river and you can plan an entire day’s activities by travelling along the various wharf stops and surrounds. Highlights include Eat Street Northshore, lounging in New Farm Park and exploring the nearby Brisbane Powerhouse.
QueensPlaza: Connected to the bustling shopping hub of Queen Street Mall is QueensPlaza, which is home to a range of elegant boutiques of top international and Australian brands. You can even pay a visit to renowned pearl experts at the luxurious Paspaley boutique.
Homewares Trail: Just north of Brisbane’s CBD is a haven for furniture and homewares. At the intersection of three neighbouring suburbs – Fortitude Valley, New Farm and Newstead – you can find a décor delight walking trail and discover every style and store imaginable including Jack Mitchell, West Elm, Jardan and The Modern.
If you have spectacular water views around every corner, why not flaunt them? With so many precincts boasting direct access to the river, it’s entirely possible to spend every meal of the day peacefully enjoying the cool breeze and watching the boats go by. Wander into the city and you can’t help but stumble over a hip new bar, restaurant or café. Since the start of the year Brisbane’s dining landscape has shifted dramatically, with many epic openings including Walter’s Steakhouse, Three Blue Ducks, and Spice Den among many others.
One of the most exciting cultural facelifts Brisbane underwent in the mid-2000s was the refresh of its South Brisbane arts precinct. A key pillar of that change was the opening of the splendid Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), as a welcome addition to the Queensland Art Gallery. A must for all art-lovers.
Be blown away by the mix of white sand, turquoise sea, bushland, birdlife and lagoons at this island about 25km off Brisbane. Fifteen vessels were deliberately sunk to form a breakwall for small boats, also creating a unique wreck dive and snorkel site. And animal lovers will love handfeeding the dolphins at Tangalooma Island Resort.
What’s on 2019
The Brisbane International has established itself as a highlight of Queensland’s summer events calendar, and launches the global year in sport. December 30, 2018 – January 6, 2019.
‘Jersey Boys’ is the story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. From January 2.
‘The Book of Mormon’, an outrageous musical comedy that follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent on a mission to a place that’s about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get. From March 16.
World Science Festival Brisbane explores and celebrates the entanglement of science and art through a curated program of thought-provoking conversations, inspiring theatrical and cinematic experiences, interactive workshops and engaging demonstrations. March 2019.
Get ready for the ride of your life when the Brisbane Cycling Festival rolls into the city,March 28 – April 14, 2019.
And, don’t forget the popular NRL Brisbane Magic Round. May 10-12.
For more events from around the River City this jam-packed summer, click here.